Chicago Comeback: Club Industry Show 2013 Preview

The Club Industry Conference and Exposition is returning to its roots and heading back to Chicago, where fitness facility operators will find the latest products and education in the industry at the McCormick Place Lakeside Center, Oct. 23-25.

“With the return to Chicago and the Midwest after a short hiatus, my team and I are looking forward to re-creating this important industry event,” says the show’s director, Erica Stone. “The three main pillars of any successful trade event are creative product demonstration capabilities, a robust networking platform, and a relevant, provocative education program.”

This year’s show features networking and education opportunities for everyone from club entrepreneurs to top personal trainers and fitness company executives.

The show officially kicks off with a welcome reception at the Public House from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23. However, activities begin earlier that day, starting with tours of three Chicago fitness clubs from 8 a.m. to noon. During those tours, attendees will learn about trends at these clubs, participate in fitness demonstrations and get business tips.

Also on that day, education sessions begin at 11 a.m., and this year, the conference includes tracks offering workshops on increasing non-dues revenue and professional development. The show also features new opportunities for fitness professionals who want to advance their careers and improve their businesses through the Club Industry Business Program, which offers half-day seminars for personal trainers and club entrepreneurs. Both seminars are offered from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Personal trainers, entrepreneurial clubs owners, and prosumers are playing an increasingly important role in the fitness industry,” Stone says. “To meet the needs of this group, we’ve cultivated dynamic education and networking opportunities designed to provide our community with the tools they need to make their businesses successful.”

Personal trainers also can come together with facility operators and certifying organizations to meet and discuss the image and legitimization of the personal training profession at the W.I.T.S. Personal Trainer Summit at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24. After the summit, Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) and Club Industry will present the 2014 Trainer of the Year Award at 4 p.m.

For established industry leaders, the invitation-only CEO Summit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, is a valuable opportunity to meet with other C-level fitness executives. The event will include a luncheon speaker, roundtable discussions and a panel discussion. Speakers include Joe Cirulli, founder and CEO of Gainesville Health and Fitness Centers; Brent Leffel, president of New Evolution Ventures; Eric Affeldt, president and CEO of ClubCorp; and Annbeth Eschbach, CEO of Exhale Spas.

The Club Industry Conference and Exposition returns to Chicago and the McCormick Place Lakeside Center Oct. 23-25. (Photo by Thinkstock.)

More Events and Awards

This year’s show also includes a new event to celebrate the industry’s top fitness companies. For the first time, the companies featured on Club Industry’s Top 100 Clubs list will be honored at a reception, which will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24.

“Club Industry’s Top 100 Health Clubs list includes some of the biggest names in fitness,” Stone says. “This year, we are excited to recognize the companies featured and create an opportunity for the best in the business to come together at the Top 100 Reception.”

From 6 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, fitness professionals can come together again for Club RUN/Walk Chicago, a 5K fundraiser benefitting the Project Walk organization and the Be Perfect Foundation. Project Walk aims to help improve the mobility and confidence of people with spinal cord injuries, and the Be Perfect Foundation is the first franchisee of the Project Walk program.  The franchise is located in and operated by the Claremont Club in Claremont, CA. Workouts also will be offered from 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, and on Friday, Oct. 25.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Daniel Levin, the founder and CEO of Chicago’s East Bank Club, at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25. After the award presentation, Bridget Brennan, author of “Why She Buys” and CEO of Female Factor, a women-centric marketing firm, will deliver the keynote presentation. Brennan will explore the idiosyncrasies of female buying power and explain how club owners, operators, marketers and trainers can capitalize on women’s influence in the marketplace to improve their businesses.

Attendees can try out new products and experience live demonstrations on the show floor, which is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25. The show floor also features Club Industry LIVE sessions, which will allow attendees to see the latest group exercise programs in action from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, and from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25.

Club Industry 2013 Conference Event Schedule

Wednesday, October 23

8 a.m. - noon — Pre-conference facility tours

11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. — Educational sessions

12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. — Club Industry Business Program for Personal Trainers

12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. — Club Industry Business Program for Club Entrepreneurs

12:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. — Educational sessions

4:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. — Educational sessions

6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. — Welcome reception

Thursday, October 24

7 a.m. - 7:45 a.m. — Boot Camp Challenge with Lori Patterson

8:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. — Educational sessions

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. — CEO Summit

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Exhibit hall open

Noon - 3:30 p.m. — Club Industry LIVE sessions

2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. — W.I.T.S. Personal Trainer Summit

4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. — PFP Trainer of the Year Award presentation

5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. — Top 100 reception

Friday, October 25

6 a.m. - 6:45 a.m. — Club RUN/Walk Chicago

7 a.m. - 7:45 a.m. — Workout with Les Mills

8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. — Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to Daniel Levin, founder and CEO of Chicago’s East Bank Club, and Keynote Address by Bridget Brennan, author and founder and CEO of Female Factor

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. — Club Industry LIVE sessions

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. — Exhibit hall open

Exhibit Hall Events

Club Industry LIVE:
The Club Industry LIVE stage will feature interactive demonstrations and body-moving workout sessions throughout the show.

Club Industry RESISTANCE:
Learn the benefits of weight training with resistance bands on the show floor.

Click here for a list of exhibitors. For more information on the show, go to

Attendees will have several opportunities to work out in the exhibit hall at the Club Industry show, inlcluding early morning workouts before show hours. (File photo.)

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